Review: Dubstep producer Alex Fox - better known under his Sleeper alias - is remarkably productive; amazingly, Lander is his 11th single since the beginning of 2013. Here he returns to regular home Chestplate for another three-track bass assault. The title track wallows in the space Fox creates between its sparse elements. While little more than a collection of electronic noises, cavernous sub and a crunchy rhythm, it sounds unfeasibly roomy. The same could be said about the delay-laden "Stronghold", whose reverb-heavy hits and military snares work in perfect cohesion with Fox's intense bass. This dub-wise approach is intensified on "Crucially Dubbing", with ricocheting electronics and breakcore-influenced glitches spinning between the left and right channels.
Review: It's always very exciting to see newschool dubstep heavyweight Sleeper drop a new project, the latest of which touches down on the ever dependable Crucial Recordings here. We are gifted two tracks of undeniable heat, kicking off with the glitchy tones and highly impactful designs of 'Calling On Spirits'. This one is a monsterous composition, incorporating lethal synthesizer grit and stadium style drum work from the off. On the flip we hear 'Yonks', which takes a more relaxed form, focussing on syncopated drum movements and rolling melodics. Tasty stuff indeed.
Review: Crucial by name... Sleeper's imprint hits another massive milestone with this immense collaboration-session. Sleeper and Mesck are the most consistent names, delivering tag-team slews like the rasping mangled siren and loose drum weird-out of the title track and the droning, dirge-like eastern trip out "Fukka". Thelem also plays a crucial role on the trapped out gangbanger "Strawberry Cough" and the minimal, gun-loading paranoia session "Squeeze Off". Shots fired.
Review: His burnt finger fully recovered, deep-end doyen Sleeper awakes on Crucial once again with four more treacle-thick atmospheres. "Girl Scout Cookies" is a loose stringed swathe through swampy, dense reverse textures and slo-mo breaks, "Akai Headbutt" ignites with score-level chiller impact while the title track conducts a damaged ping test over paranoid waves and thudding 808s. "Ghost" sends us off packing into the darkness with a warped arpeggio, unsteady drums and shard-like memories of rap titans. One of a kind.
Review: Longstanding low end representor Sleeper ignites the new year on a smouldering slow burn with three deliciously deep steppers on Crucial. "Spread Out" tells a tale of estranged kick drums, connected through trippy FX and a sticky sub. Deeper again, "Burn Finger" takes Sleeper's space explorations to new highs as the drums are even sparser, leaving bags of room for precision positioned bulbous warbles. Finally, we hit the "Prayer Room" for a cosmic adventure into eastern elements. A serious call to dub arms.
Review: Apparently, this EP is hot property around the dubstep circles; word on the street is that these two slammers have been in-demand for a while, but only available as dubs until now. Sleeper's output is always top notch but, we have to say, these new late-night bruisers are among his very best, and worthy of some true head-nodding. "Seagulls" has got all the right elements for a raucous showdown: a gratuitous amount of low frequencies, a wailing, foreboding texture, and that classic dubstep snare-attack. "French Toasty" is no less powerful in its delivery and, in fact, the bass on this monster is even more poignant, and it's easy to why these two tunes are just so sought-after. Go forth and destroy.
Review: There isn't much doubt that Sleeper can take his rightful place as one of dubstep's new-school royalty, and this four track EP alongside the Crucial Recordings gang pretty much sums up why. The title track 'Smoke & Mirrors' is a syncopated madness, focussing on super swingy drum movement whilst pounding subs writhe below and wavy percussive synths float above. From here we move into the similarly swung sounds of 'Greens' and tripletty ball of beautifully arranged distortion entitled 'U Take L's'. We then round off with the incredibly weighty soundscaping of 'Le Goonz'. This one is a monster, from the demonic melodic leads to the irresistible sub movement underneath.
Review: It's been a superb year for Crucial Recordings, who continue to push fresh and original dubstep music, almost weekly at this point. They here invite Sleeper to do what he does best across four hard hitting steppers stompers, with the creepy textures and wibbling bass tones of 'Shudda' landing first. The distorted delights and dubwise drum devices of the title track 'Militant Focus' follows in style, before the shimmering LFO's and heavily reverberated rhythms of 'Franklyn' join the party. We found off 'Fish Tea', a more subtle roller, tying this one up nicely.
Review: Crucial Recordings regular Sleeper teams up with DADDW8 for these two bad-mannered UK hip-hop experiments; this is the sort of gear that fills up with hope when thinking about the British underground scene, so treat it with the upmost respect, please. "Dark Things" is like a cross between Jehst and the sort of beats the Louis Slipperz used to be known for, except that here the brother has a lot more leftfield electronics to deal with. A bangher on all fronts. "X Rated" is similarly lo-fi in its approach, coming through with hazy, murky instruments to carry the crew's gun-mannered vocal rants into hyperspace. Bad, bad tunes here. Warmly recommended.
Review: Are crucial the most cutting edge sound in dubstep right about now? They certainly have to stake a claim as they unveil yet another fire indusing four track bundle, including recordings from the likes of TMSV, Van Dam, Causa, Sleeper and Opus. We begin our excavations of this one by looking into the shimmering sub work and moody synths of TMSV & Van Dam's 'Qanum Fodder', before falling into lethal bass rolls of Causa's 'Are We'. Following this, Sleeper comes through in storming form with the subtle beastings of 'Ginger Root', before Opus sends the dance into pandemonium with his super glitchy expanse in 'People'.
Review: Whether it's as a performer, a producer or a label head honcho, J:Kenzo has never done things by halves, so Artikal's debut long player was always going to be special. 15 exclusive cuts from the label's talented family and friends, this collection of contributions doesn't just document where bass music is at, but where it's heading. Each track is a highlight in itself, but it's cuts like the slinky hypnotic groove and cosmic congas of TMSV's "Scorpion", Sleeper's star-gazing, dub-drenched sub science of "Coxsone Dub", Skeptical's lesson minimalism and aggy restraint ("Skavenger") and Eshone's treacle-like dirge "Qualia" that really represent the depth, scope and vision of Artikal. Designed for the dance, arranged so well it works as an entire listening experience, Artikal don't do things by halves.